Last night at our group meeting for the Naturopathic Yoga Detox program, there were some concerns about how detoxers were going to survive Thanksgiving dinner. So as promised, here is how to do Thanksgiving on a detox! (Or for anyone who just wants to up their healthy eating game this weekend!)
Step 1: The Bird
- Avoid self basting turkeys as they may have been injected with a hydrolyzed vegetable protein which is wheat based. Also be aware of any flavouring that may have been added. If possible, order a fresh turkey, rather than a frozen one. If using a frozen turkey, thaw in fridge and allow five hours per pound, or cover the turkey with cold water, changing water every 30 minutes and allow one hour per pound.
- Prepare the turkey by removing giblets and neck. Rinse and wipe the cavity. Season with your favourite herbs, sea salt and pepper and/or stuff lightly using skewers to fasten skin over the cavity.
- Roast turkey, breast side up, on rack in roasting pan. Brush with coconut oil if needed. Tent loosely with foil. Roast in 325ºF oven for about 20 minutes per pound. Remove tent for last hour of roasting.
- When ready, tent with foil and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes before enjoying.
Step 2: The Spuds (Sweet Potatoes)
- Boil sweet potatoes in water for 15 minutes until just tender. Drain, cut into cubes, return to the pan. Place the pan back on low heat and shake vigorously for a few moments. Heat some coconut oil in a roasting pan in the oven or if you don’t like coconut flavour, grape seed oil is also relatively heat stable. Turn the potatoes into the pan and roll in the oil to coat. Return the tin to the oven and roast for 50-60 minutes. You may like to turn the potatoes over half way through roasting, to ensure they end up crispy and not soggy.
Step 3: Veggies (Brussels Sprouts & Steamed Vegetables)
- Sprouts: Remove any untidy outer leaves from the brussels and cut a cross in the bottom of any large ones. Boil for 8-10 minutes or until they are tender. Drain and keep hot. Melt a small amount of grape seed/ coconut oil in a saucepan and add flaked almonds and garlic. Cook until the almonds are golden. Add the lemon rind and juice and season well. Sprinkle the almonds over the sprouts and serve.
- Other veggies: Steaming vegetables retains much of their nutrients while providing a delicious side dish. No need for oil or butter, just steam selected vegetables – broccoli, carrots, kale or squash, serve and enjoy.
Step 4: Stuffing
- Being on the Naturopathic Yoga Detox, does not mean you have to skip on this delicious holiday treat. You have several options when it comes to stuffing:
- Gluten free breadcrumbs with your regular stuffing recipe; however, depending on the bread you choose it can taste different from wheat bread and you will need to substitute butter if that is in your recipe.
- Any variety of rice works well as a stuffing, wild rice or brown rice are especially delicious and detox friendly!
- 100g (4 oz) long grain rice, 2 medium onions, 1 tbsp grape seed oil, 10g (2 tsp) coconut oil, 3 tbsp cranberry sauce, salt and freshly ground black pepper, 50g chopped walnuts.
- Boil the rice in salted water until just tender, then drain.
- Fry the onions in coconut oil until soft.
- Mix all ingredients together
- Quinoa is another tasty alternative to stuffing and is also a complete vegetarian protein.
- 100g quinoa, 1 large onion, chopped, 20g coconut oil, 350g celery (finely chopped), 1 apple (roughly chopped), 100g chopped walnuts, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Place the quinoa in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook for about 15 minutes or until the grain is soft. Drain.
- Cook the onions in coconut oil until soft. Add the celery and walnuts and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and season.
Step 5: Gravy
- Making a Naturopathic Yoga Detox-friendly gravy is really pretty easy, just choose your favourite non-wheat flour alternative, I love the nutty flavour of almond flour but any will work!
- Giblets and neck from turkey, bay leaf, black peppercorns (5 or 6), 1 small onion (sliced), salt, 1.2 litres water, 5 tbsp roasting juices from turkey, 4 tbsp your choice of gluten-free flour.
- Place the turkey giblets, neck, bay leaf, peppercorns and onion in a pan of water, bring to boil and simmer gently for about 1 hour. Strain and reserve the liquid.
- Place the roasting pan on the stove top and gently heat the turkey juices that are left in it. Sprinkle in the flour alternative and stir until smooth.
- Stir in the reserved stock and increase the heat until the gravy comes to the boil, by which time it should be smooth and thick.
And there you have it, Thanksgiving Dinner while on the Naturopathic Yoga Detox!
Yours in health,
Dr. Aisling Lanigan, N.D.